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Emergency Preparedness

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Published on Apr 1, 2011

Vancouver is one the most livable city in the world but also one of the most vulnerable. The catastrophic 9.0 earthquake followed by a 3 metre-high tsunami wave and nuclear melt-downs that hit in Japan March 2011 has put Vancouver's own emergency preparedness at the top of people's minds. We know that we live in an earthquake zone and it's not if but when we'll face "the big one." Recent news has highlighted that Vancouver is not prepared for a disaster of this magnitude. While $100 million has been spent by the City of Vancouver over the past 20 years upgrading buildings, water lines and bridges, this isn't near enough. Our seismic upgrading program for vulnerable schools and hospitals in Vancouver are inadequate... and our existing program is well behind schedule.

Despite the clear, public safety need to be adequately prepared for emergencies, in 2010, our federal government cut $35.8 million from the Public Safety Canada budget over three years and announced the purchase of F-35 fighter jets which will cost taxpayers $29.5 billion. The priority is all wrong. The Harper government is gambling with lives. The Green Party would choose to put public money into emergency preparedness. As the Green MP for Vancouver Centre, I will work to put a priority on increasing federal emergency preparedness funding and infrastructure.

I will work to invest federal dollars in accelerating the seismic upgrades to public buildings such as schools and hospitals. We would simultaneously upgrade these buildings for energy efficiency so we meet climate action goals and save money by more efficiently retrofitting for both at once.

I will work to allocate more Public Safety Canada funds into emergency preparedness -- funds that largely go to the municipalities across Canada to implement their emergency preparedness plans, including adequate emergency evacuation routes, warning systems and backup emergency essential services such as energy, food, water and medical.

I will work to have funds allocated by Public Safety Canada for emergency response education and training for the public and first responders.

Let me be your voice in Parliament as your Green MP and I will work hard to create the emergency preparedness infrastructure we need in Vancouver.

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